Excited by the future

Hey! And welcome to #Edition1 of my revamped newsletter.

The purpose of this weekly newsletter is to help you navigate the present and think about the future.

While the internet has democratized access to information, it has also increased the challenge of filtering the signal from the noise. Distractions are everywhere, and the only guiding light we often have is our own intuition. Rarely, if ever, do we pause for a second, step outside of our bubbles, and explore hard questions.

But I’m here to help! I hand pick 10 or so pieces of content (articles, podcasts, videos, tweets, etc.) that focus on the intersection of technology, writing, and people. I’ll keep the newsletters concise and not waste your time. The only purpose is to help you think.

I want this to be as helpful as possible ~ so if you ever have feedback just hit reply! Oh, and share this link if you enjoy 🌟

Here is Issue #1–2/20/2017


TL:DR — Technology, weight loss, and math.

Excited About The Future

I think predictions are a fascinating thing. Most of the time, as humans, we get them really wrong. There is a ton to learn from the past:

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The absolute worst technology predictions of the past 150 years — medium.freecodecamp.com 
 There’s a long-standing tradition among scientists, engineers, and industrialists. Every new year, they make predictions about a future. Well, technology has proven to be extraordinarily slippery…

Generally speaking, I am not the biggest fan of advice. Most of the time it is filled with hindsight bias and not that applicable to my own life. These two short articles may be the exception — they are incredibly refreshing to read. Absorb them.

The days are long but the decades are short — Sam Altman

blog.samaltman.com 
 I turned 30 last week and a friend asked me if I’d figured out any life advice in the past decade worth passing on. I’m somewhat hesitant to publish this because I think these lists usually seem…

Notes for the New Year (A little late)

blog.ycombinator.com

Sam Altman made some notes before my brother Jack interviewed me for How to Build the Future, where he mostly talks about how ambitious young people should think about their careers.

I am interested in the all important question: will humans work when there is no work to be done? Here is one take:

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The Future of Labor pt. I — Keynes — medium.com 
 “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” — (Genesis 2:15) In 1930 the economist…

My naive view: You can get nearly anything you want if you really really go for it. Of course, there are exceptions — biases, luck, etc. that all filter in. But whether it is weight-loss or graduating college, I wholly believe that you can do it! This story is super interesting and it shows you exactly what you can do when you make sacrifices:

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How I Lost 75 Pounds in 120 Days — medium.com

Losing one pound 75 times

When we think of scaling and growing companies — what comes to mind? I think of hiring people as a major component. But, as technology progresses, we find we can often automate large parts of our business. And that is this story — of how a small company stayed small while there revenue got huge:

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4 Years Later — A Huge, Small Company — news.distrokid.com

Automated bots that run a company

One of the most exciting externalities of the self driving car inevitability is what we do with all of our infrastructure. Much of it will change, eventually. Traffic, hopefully, will be one of those that change sooner.

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The End of Traffic — John Zimmer — Medium — medium.com 
 2017 marks the tenth year the two of us have worked together. Soon after graduating college, we each started thinking about bringing new solutions to old transportation problems with the goal of…

I am not the best at math, but I found this analysis really interesting and challenging.

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The Riemann Hypothesis, explained — medium.com

Here is a 3000 year old question:

2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, p. What is p? 31. What is the next p? It’s 37. The p after that?41. And then? 43. How, but… …how do you know what comes next?

Job automation is controversial. Is technological progress always a good thing? You tell me. From a moral and economic perspective:

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Economics, Morality, and Culture in an Automated World — blog.moonshots.club

Automation and machine intelligence, once futurists’ favorite vehicles for economic and societal advancement, are abstractions no longer.

Three “Hard” Questions

I’ll send a few questions every week just to keep your mind sharp :)

1) What is the world’s most important and pressing problem?

2) What is a social standard widely accepted today that will be completely unacceptable 50 years from now?

3) What makes someone smart?

Ask yourselves the hard questions before someone else does.

thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this *somewhat short* newsletter. I liked making it — and learned a ton doing so.

Share this link with a friend

I really appreciate all the support. I’ll see you next week.

- Jordan

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